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ISU Pre-Health Professions Student's Typical Freshman 1st Semester Schedule

This is intended to be a guide. The actual schedule will vary significantly from student to student, depending upon intended major, ACT scores, SAT scores, Math and/or English placement test scores, outside work schedule, etc.


Most students will register for ENGL 1101. May register for it directly if you have an ACT score of 18 or above. If the ACT score is 17 or below, must register for ENGL 1101P. Students receiving a 3, 4 or 5 on the AP English exam will receive three credits of ENGL 101. A score of 5 on the AP exam will result in three credits in each of ENGL 1101 and 1102.


Students are advised to register for the appropriate mathematics course in their first semester. For most students, that will be MATH 1147 (Pre-calculus). Students with an ACT math score of at least 23  may register for MATH 1147. An ACT score of 27 or higher will allow the student to register directly for MATH 1160; an ACT score of 29 or higher will let the student register directly for MATH 1170. Students with ACT math scores of 17 - 22 are advised to take the MATH 1108. Once the mathematics course sequence has begun, the student is advised to continue in the appropriate courses in subsequent semesters for the major selected until the math sequence is completed. Please note that MATH 1147 (Pre-calculus, 5 Cr) is academically equivalent to MATH 1143 (College Algebra, 3 Cr) plus MATH 1144 (Trigonometry, 2 Cr). This credit can be obtained by either route, although most students find it more efficient to take MATH 147, rather than the two separate courses. All science majors at Idaho State University require MATH 1147 or its equivalent plus one or two calculus courses, whereas most non-science majors only require MATH 1143 plus one additional math course.

Calculus Options: Any student eligible to register immediately for a calculus course should consider carefully whether to enroll in MATH 1160 (Basic Calculus) or MATH 1170 (Calculus I). MATH 1160 is designed as a one-semester only calculus course. MATH 1170 is the first course in a series and is required in majors in biochemistry, chemistry, physics and engineering. The Mathematics Department will not grant credit in both MATH 1160 and 1170, but will require MATH 1170 of anyone who takes MATH 1175. Most students will take MATH 1160, but anyone anticipating majoring in one of the above curricula should take MATH 1170.


CHEM 1111 (General Chemistry I, 5 Cr) is the appropriate beginning chemistry course for most prehealth students. You may start this chemistry sequence if you have completed MATH 1143 or 1147. If you are unable to begin the chemistry sequence in your first semester, your options for beginning chemistry are the following: Assuming you take MATH 1143 or 1147 (MATH 147 would be recommended) in the fall semester, you could begin CHEM 1111 in the spring semester. This would be suggested only if you can take CHEM 1112 in the summer following that year. If you cannot, you should wait until the fall semester of your sophomore year to begin the chemistry sequence. NOTE: you should not delay beginning your chemistry course sequence any longer than the fall of your sophomore year; any further delay would lead to a delay in taking the MCAT for medical applicants and the DAT for dental applicants.


This course series is Biology I and II (BIOL 1101, 1101L and BIOL 1102, 1102L). Biology I and II comprise an integrated two semester sequence. Biology I is the fall semester course.


The above courses would constitute a full academic load. The student may not have the appropriate math preparation to begin the chemistry sequence. In those or other circumstances, the student may need to choose some other course or two. Some possibilities are courses that satisfy Objective 4 among the humanities and Objectives 6, 7/8 or 9 among the social sciences. A number of health professional schools require PSYC 1101 (General Psychology I); it also meets Obejctive 6. If you plan to major in one of the non-science curricula, there may be another freshman level course which that major would require or suggest that you to take in your first semester.


For how many credits should you register in your first semester? That varies from student to student, but most will register for something near 14 to 16 credits (you must take an average of 15 credits per semester to graduate in 4 years). It is important that you begin your college career with a manageable load, so make sure your academic load is compatible with a work schedule or anything else you may be spending time at outside of the classroom. How you perform academically in your first semester often "sets the tone" for the remainder of your college career, so it is very important for you to do as well as you can possibly do in that first semester. Plan your schedule accordingly. Students who have a scholarship are required to register for at least 12 credits.  The tuition lock program requires that students complete 15 credits per semester.

There are many considerations to consider when planning your first semester.  Here are just a few:

  • In order to graduate in 4 years, students must average 30 credits per academic year.  If you plan to attend fall and spring semesters only, then that means at least 15 credits per semester.
  • Students should consider outside activities (work, family, leisure, etc.) when planning a schedule. Remember there are a limited number of hours each day.
  • Students should study at least 2 hours outside of class for each hour in class to be successful. With a 15 credit semester, this means a minimum of 45 hours devoted to classwork.
  • Students pursuing competitive health careers should plan for demanding schedules that include, exposure to health professionals (shadowing, volunteering, working in patient care settings) and strive to have a high GPA.
  • Consider classes that you already have credit for through AP, test scores (SAT or ACT), and Early College courses.
  • Students should enroll in math and English classes each semester until the math and English classes for your major and professions program pre-requisites are complete.